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IDEAS, INSPIRATIONS AND A FEW OTHER THINGS

How to stand out in a crowded business world?

In a brick wall, no brick stands out. We know they are all different, but not different enough for us to notice.

In business, most companies that compete for the same market look similar too… general contractors, attorneys, private schools. Each within its respective industry offers similar services, claims similar values and provides similar solutions.

From time to time we find a company that branches out and creates a real identity for its business, but nine times out of 10 they all blend—like bricks in a brick wall.

Why do most businesses fail to stand out?

Seth Godin, marketing thought leader and author of many books on the topic, described the marketing of a business as a four-ring circle—aptly called the Marketing Circle.

Moving from the inside out, each circle is a step in organizational focus. From products and services in the innermost circle, to external marketing tactics in the outer circle.

Most businesses, when they decide to invest in marketing, start with the outer circle. And that’s when they get it wrong. They get busy trying to create leads without taking the time to look at their products and services, and the value these bring. They fail to create a brand that is distinctive and capable of connecting with its audience, because they’re too busy screaming, “Look at me, I’m another brick in the wall.” They rushed into advertising without creating a reason for consumers to care.

 

“Most marketing says – look at me, I’m another brick in the wall”.

 

Advertising vs. Branding

Even well-seasoned business owners confuse these two parts of marketing. They speak about branding in terms of graphics and speak about advertising in terms of marketing.

Advertising is about promotion: Print ads, Facebook posts, emails, TV ads, and so on. Ways in which we try to make the business more visible. Advertising focuses on offers, creative ways to deliver a message. These are good things that must and should be done for a business to be successful… but not until the brand has palpable, consumer-focused value to promote.

Branding is about differentiating: All branding efforts are about differentiating and aligning your brand with customers’ priorities and principles. It focuses on making sure your message, products and services are united under one clear identity that resonates with its audience.

It’s worth noting that branding is not graphic design. Design is a visual representation of the differentiating factors of the brand. Colors, images, style, logos are used to help us visualize the differences but these are not the differences per say. They are only symbols. No different than how a photograph shows us someone’s outer appearance, but not their feelings.

Don’t be another brick in the wall 

Pretend that the green brick on this photo represents your business. Most of us would be happy to stand out this clearly from our competitors, but if we go past the obvious difference in color and look a little further into it we can learn more from this example.

Is green the right color for your business? Does it communicate something of value to your customers?

How about beyond the visuals? Is the brick made of a different material—stronger or more environmentally friendly?

How about delivery? Can you deliver the bricks within 24 hours, 7 days a week? Can you provide certified bricklayers to do the job? Or can you include space planning and landscaping as added value?

What about why you are in the brick business in the first place? Perhaps you have a passion for classical buildings and that is your specialty. If this is the case, you might be the obvious choice for customers who are passionate about classical architecture.

The point is, a brick is a brick until you go back to your brand’s core and add value to it. When you do this, differences go beyond color or graphics. From there, visuals and marketing tactics become the vehicles or tools to communicate what is unique and of value.

Quick recap:

– Before investing in your marketing, look at the value your brand offers.

– Advertising isn’t the same thing as marketing or branding.

– Branding is about adding value, aligning these values with your customer base and differentiating.

– Use design as a visual representation of the unique value that differentiates you.

Daisho is an award-winning Miami branding and website design company owned and operated by Frank Irias. Its practice focuses on branding, website design and print design. Over the years, Frank has worked for national and international accounts and brings this big-brand knowledge to small businesses. View Daisho’s portfolio.

“Frank and the group at DAISHO are extremely professional and creative. Their work in developing our new brand and our social media initiatives have brought significant attention to our firm. We look forward in continuing to advance the firm with DAISHO's assistance.”

 

— Julie Salas —
March of Dimes

“Frank is a one stop shop when it comes to design, printing and web presence. He immediately engages you grasping the project quickly and he always goes the extra mile. He has a knack to inspire and make you and your Company shine! I have personally used Frank's talents on numerous projects and I will be back...over and over.”

— Vlademir Golik —
Keller Williams

“I collaborated with Frank closely when I worked at Med-Tek. Frank and his talented team at DAISHO did a great job delivering striking and high quality designs including logo, product packaging, corporate identify guide, marketing collateral, web design and development… the list goes on. Frank works really hard to ensure the delivery of all projects on time with uncompromising results. Frank is a person with candor. With Frank, we can surface, debate rapidly and acted upon ideas. He is also a humble person with a big heart; he helps and hosts small business networking events and volunteers with charity organizations. I am privileged to have known and worked with Frank.”

— Aileen Fan —
PR Professional

“I had the good fortune to have been able to work Frank on two different projects. Not only is he one of the truly creative people in this market, his is also strategic, smart and a pleasure to work with. He manages to find the right path to a solution for any creative challenge. Whether it is a major branding project or a simple brochure, Frank will not only get the job done, but get it done with superb results.”

— Alana Perez —
Florida Grand Opera

“Working with DAISHO makes my job easier. From inception to completion, I can always be confident that my project is on track, in terms of goals, deadline and budget. Their team of professionals also provides an invaluable marketing perspective, even to seemingly minor projects, that helps keep our branding and communication initiatives focused. I'm always impressed with their attention to detail, and their level of customer service. DAISHO is an excellent partner in helping me achieve my business goals.”

— Ana Poveda —
Communication Director
Westminster Christian School

“Frank Irias has been such a great addition to our March of Dimes - Signature Chefs committee, providing meaningful suggestions to constantly improve & promote our event to make it a smashing success. He's always lent us a helping hand with wonderful designs for the event, and even created & designed our new Loyalty Card. Frank also helps us with designing eye-popping ads & invitations for our organization. I am truly lucky to have had the chance to work with him, and we are very fortunate to have him stay on-board!”

— Angelica F. Ramcharran —
March of Dimes

“Frank is an incredibly creative designer who thinks outside of the box. He completely re-branded all of our materials and exceed our expectations. The final product is beautiful and clearly meets (and exceeds) all of our needs. He is a pleasure to work with and we continue to use his services for other projects. I highly recommend him, you will not be disappointed.”

— Cathie D’Arcy —
St. Stephen’s Day School

“Frank is an incredibly creative designer who thinks outside of the box. He completely re-branded all of our materials and exceed our expectations. The final product is beautiful and clearly meets (and exceeds) all of our needs. He is a pleasure to work with and we continue to use his services for other projects. I highly recommend him, you will not be disappointed.”

— Cathie D’Arcy —
St. Stephen’s Day School

“Frank is extremely creative and especially talented at branding an organization and presenting amazing ideas. He has the ability to provide an up to date look to a company (logo, web, collateral pieces) while still maintaining the company history and core values. His creative talent and his interest in understanding the company he is working for intimately is reflected in his outstanding work. I had the pleasure of working with Frank while I was the marketing director for a local credit union and I would hire him again without hesitation.”

— Christine Redmond —
Marketing Director
South Florida Federal Credit Union

"I just wanted to drop you a note of thanks for the great work you did on our K'Alma Website.  Your insight, expertise, patience and constant willingness to engage with us, despite the hour, made the entire process enjoyable, enlightening and a great experience from start to finish.  We are so pleased with the outcome of our work together that you will be our go to company for everything we do moving forward and will gladly give you glowing referrals if they are ever needed.  Looking forward to our next project together."

— Craig Carter —
K'ALMA
Spa Concepts & Management

“Frank has consistently turned out excellent results for us across a broad range of our business lines. His firm has always delivered exemplary results for us. They have completed corporate identity packages, web design, graphic design, advertising layouts, brochures, trade show booth designs, and much more for all of our businesses, for more than five years. The entire team at DAISHO is excellent, they manage our needs of the usual quick turnaround times, at a reasonable cost, on all projects. When people ask me where we have our design work done, we refer them to DAISHO. And while you are reading this "glowing recommendation", I can assure you, Frank is not a relative, and he did not pay me to write this!”

— David Schwedel —
Executive Director
Coalview, Gables Energy, DAS Family Holdings,

 

“Frank is perfect balance between creative concept. market branding and flawless execution. Professional to work with and stays on track.”

— George Contorakes —
Commercial Photographer

“This team is made up of an amazing group of professionals that are passionate about what they do, always thinking outside of the box, extremely talented and creative, and most of all they deliver in excellence.”

— Isabel Gallego —
Founder
Urawk Energy Inc.

“I consider Frank the best marketing person I have met, and also a friend. From humble beginning to hard earned success, Frank stood by me personally and professionally. He helped us grow, and always offered honest advice.”

— Justin Beckham —
DeFabio Beckham Solis

“Frank is extremely creative! He is determined to provide the best service possible to his clients making him accommodating and professional. His enthusiasm is important and is what makes each job unique!”

— Karen Egozi —
Epilepsy Foundation

“Frank developed several integrated merchandising and print campaigns for our brand and helped evolve the look and feel our external communications that resulted in increased sales!”

— Kim Miller —
Pollo Tropical

“I worked with DAISHO Creative (led by Frank Irias and John Keepax) for over 10 years while I was with Royal Caribbean. They were more than dependable! There was nothing they would not do for Royal Caribbean as a partner. They took time to understand the brand and were able to deliver extremely well on a very wide variety of marketing projects. I would definitely recommend them to others in need of marketing support.”

— Michelle Yanda —
Marketing Manager
Royal Caribbean

“Frank has an incredible ability to find the hidden message within your company that your current and potential customers need to see. He is an extremely creative, detail and results oriented person that will set your company miles ahead of your competition. I highly recommend Frank and DAISHO Creative Strategies as your final stop for your marketing strategy needs.”

— Miguel A. Lopez —

“I’ve had the pleasure of personally working with Frank for about two years now through the annual (Miami) March of Dimes Signature Chefs & Wine Extravaganza event. Before meeting him, he was already involved with this event for several years. Frank is a dedicated committee member and one of the most disciplined and professional people I’ve ever known. He goes above and beyond to help us and really cares about the March of Dimes mission -- which is to improve the health of all babies, by preventing birth defects, premature birth and infant mortality. I know without a doubt that I can count of Frank to help me in designing marketing materials for our event – he not only delivers on time, but he delivers top quality work as well.”

— Nanette Molina —
Marketing Manager
March of Dimes

“Frank and the group at DAISHO are extremely professional and creative. Their work in developing our new brand and our social media initiatives have brought significant attention to our firm. We look forward in continuing to advance the firm with DAISHO's assistance.”

— Ray Zomerfeld —
Vizcaino Zomerfeld